Non-Medical Accommodations in the Workplace

Non-Medical Accommodations in the workplace are complex, and it is very important that you understand and respect your employee’s rights.

Every situation is unique, and employers are entitled to “proof that is reasonable in the circumstances” to grant these accommodations.  Employers must work with the affected employee(s) to ensure that their right to accommodation is preserved, but also ensuring that the operational needs of the employer are met. This can be a delicate balancing act.

Religious accommodation includes allowing time to pray during the workday, giving alternate days off for observation of religious holidays, and working with employees in “safety-sensitive” positions who wear religious clothing or articles such as a hijab or ceremonial dagger, to ensure that their religious beliefs are considered when making safety decisions.

Accommodations for Family responsibility can be even more complex.  While provincial law provides for leaves of absence to care for ill family members, it is less clear how to deal with things like picking children up at daycare or the odd “babysitter is sick” day.  Parents may require modifications to break times or work duties to allow them to transport kids from school to daycare.

To ensure that your workplace handles these situations properly, it is strongly recommended that your workplace has an Accommodation Policy which clearly outlines the obligations and expectations of all parties.

Call us today for help with your policy!